The skilled use of interaction strategies: Creating a framework for improved small-group communicative interaction in the language classroom

Yael Bejarano*, Tamar Levine, Elite Olshtain, Judy Steiner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study reported here focuses on the need to provide ESL and EFL learners with preparatory training in order to ensure more effective communicative interaction during group work carried out in the language classroom. The underlying assumption is that appropriate classroom organization and detailed task definition, although imperative, are not always sufficient for achieving successful non-native language interaction. One way to improve the quality of communicative interaction in the classroom is to increase students' use of Modified-Interaction and Social-Interaction Strategies. The object of this paper is to show how training in such strategies improves interaction in small groups. Thirty-four students in two eleventh-grade classes in a comprehensive high school in Israel participated in this study. The classes were randomly designated as an experimental group and a control group. Both groups were involved in similar cooperative group-work activities as part of their English instruction, but the experimental group underwent special training in the Skilled Use of Modified-Interaction and Social-Interaction Strategies. Each group was video-taped before the six-week experiment and again at the end of this period. The findings, based on descriptive statistics, indicate that as a result of the training in the skilled use of interaction strategies the experimental group used significantly more Modified-Interaction and Social-Interaction Strategies than the control group. The increased use of interaction strategies improved students' communicative interaction in small groups.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalSystem
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1997

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